New Covid-19 Regulations 23 September
New Regulations’ Changes In; Could be Revisited
Grand Cayman, 23 September 2021 – New regulations to manage and control COVID-19 in the community have been published tonight and will come into effect tomorrow, Friday, 24 September 2021. One provision relating to exercise and sporting activities will come into effect on Monday, 27 September 2021.
Premier, Hon. Wayne Panton, Deputy Premier, Hon. Christopher Saunders and Health Minister, Hon. Sabrina Turner addressed a press conference today and announced that the latest Regulations had just received Cabinet approval. Pastor Andrew Ebanks of Agape Worship Centre led prayers at the start.
The Management and Control of COVID-19 Regulations, 2021 include changes to indoor and outdoor safe gathering numbers, mandate wearing of masks in specified areas indoors and mandate social distancing of six feet.
Summary of the regulations:
- Public gatherings may not exceed 100 persons indoors or 250 persons outdoors. Previously, these numbers had been 500 and 1000 respectively.
- Weddings, civil partnerships, and funerals are subject to the same gathering restrictions. However, the total number of persons gathering for these activities does not include the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses, marriage officer, parties to the intended civil partnership, official witnesses, civil partnership officer, six pallbearers, an officiant and essential mortuary staff.
- If the public place has indoor and outdoor areas, no more than 250 persons will be permitted to gather in total, with never more than 100 persons gathered in an indoor area.
- Exemptions to the above rule include: establishments, institutions, businesses, organisations and offices, including churches, cinemas and theatres which can accommodate more than 100 persons. However, these places must restrict the number of customers or congregants in a church so all attendees are able to distance themselves at least six feet apart from one another unless they are from the same household.
- Social distancing of at least six feet must be maintained in all public places unless persons are from the same household. Additional measures, including relating to the use of personal protective equipment, may also be required at quarantine facilities, healthcare facilities, residential home care facilities, and prisons and places of detention.
- Parades, carnivals and/or processions may not be held unless permitted by Regulations.
- People over the age of five years must wear masks when indoors in a public place or an educational institution if the six feet social distancing cannot be maintained. The owner or operator of an establishment may also require persons to wear masks and refuse entry to persons who refuse to do so.
- Masks are also mandated for drivers and all passengers of taxis and omnibuses, including school buses.
- Exemptions to rules requiring masks or cloth face coverings include where a person has a medical condition; or is sitting or eating without talking at his or her desk at their place of employment; at a desk or a table at the person’s educational institution; or where a person is a customer who is indoors in a bar or restaurant and is sitting at a table inside of the bar or restaurant.
- From Monday, 27 September 2021, outdoor sporting and exercise activities are permitted with no more than 250 persons for an outdoor activity, and six feet distance must be maintained by spectators who are not members of the same household. Where the sporting activity or exercise takes place indoors at a gym, fitness centre or other indoor fitness area, no more than 50 percent of the legal capacity will be allowed inside at any one time, including employees, patrons, participants and spectators. In addition, no person except an employee of the gym, fitness centre or other indoor fitness area, shall enter the indoor area unless the person has completed an approved vaccine course 14 days prior or has presented the owner/operator with a negative PCR test result, taken no more than 48 hours prior to the date of the activity.
- These Regulations are currently scheduled to expire on 22nd November 2021 and may be amended before that date.
Highlights of Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (Travel and Boating) Regulations, 2021:
- Changes to travel requirements from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, now require a PCR negative test or a vaccination certificate for all travellers over the age of five.
- The operator of a boat must ensure that the boat never has more than 100 persons has on board at all times, or 70 percent of its legal capacity, whichever is lesser. Boats with a capacity of 40 persons or fewer are exempt from this requirement. The 100 persons limit also applies when boats congregate.
- Certain areas specified in the Schedule to the Regulations (i.e. 60 Mile Bank, Pickle Bank, 12 Mile Bank, Lawford’s Bank, Fish Attracting Device) can only be used for fishing, and boats in these areas may only have on board 25 people or legal capacity, whichever is lesser. Fishing is only permitted in these areas if the boat returns within 48 hours and additional requirements include pre-clearance from Customs and Border Control (CBC). Persons wishing to fish in areas listed in the Schedule and/or leave the territorial waters of the Cayman Islands should consult the current Regulations for full details and be aware of quarantine requirements for persons arriving in the Cayman Islands, including by boat.
Highlights of Control of Covid-19 (No. 3) Regulations, 2021:
- Unvaccinated visitors who are not the child of a Caymanian or residents and travelling with that person may not visit the Cayman Islands.
- Tourists will be allowed to quarantine for seven days if their vaccinations can be securely verified.
- If vaccinations cannot be securely verified, they will still be allowed to travel to the Cayman Islands, but they will be required to quarantine for 10 days instead of seven.
- For all travellers, the quarantine period for persons with vaccinations that can be securely verified has increased from five days to seven days. Persons who received travel authorisations prior to the coming into effect of these Regulations and who qualified for the five-day quarantine period will be permitted to quarantine in accordance with their initial authorisation.
- A negative pre-travel PCR test for the COVID-19 virus is now required for all travellers aged five and up. This testing requirement was previously for travellers aged 10 and up.
Leaders reiterated that if community spread remains contained, the Regulations could be revisited in a couple of weeks to ensure the people are kept safe, while the local business community rebounds.
The three sets of Regulations under the Public Health Act that are currently in effect can be viewed at the following links:
The press conference proceedings can be viewed on the government YouTube page at https://youtu.be/2NKAXPnF7Cs.